4 cybersecurity tips for safeguarding your assets
By Anne-Marie Lambert, Head, Enterprise Anti-Crime & Security ATB Financial 21 June 2018 2 min read
In May 2017, a ransomware virus called “WannaCry” spread around the world, locking hundreds of thousands of computers. Users were threatened with permanent deletion of their files if they didn’t send payment to the group spreading the computer virus.
It was one of the largest and most widespread ransomware attacks to-date, but the list of online threats – phishing scams, hackers, ransomware, spear phishing – seems to be growing daily. Many of these are attempts to steal your information, either directly through your banking and financial credentials or by stealing your personal data.
While cybercriminals will always come up with new schemes, here are a few tips for helping to make you less susceptible to an attack.
1. Take Passwords Seriously
Password security is the number one tool keeping your information safe online, so take it seriously.
To start, use a long phrase rather than a short series of random characters. A phrase like “redbrick- house” is likely easier to remember than “x2FR!y” when it comes to passwords. Next, use a different password for each account.
2. Don't Get Too Personal
Every social network offers space to fill in a myriad of personal information: hobbies, interests, friends, birthdays, etc. Clever hackers will use this personal information against you to narrow down password guesses and impersonate you.
Instead of filling in all available fields, provide only the information necessary on professional sites to network appropriately, but not so much that it could be used against you. Keep all of your personal information on a separate account and change the privacy settings so that only close friends and people you trust can see your personal information.
3. Call for Backup
Ransomware has become an increasing problem, with major companies and institutions falling victim to hackers who steal and lock down their data. While it’s important to not let hackers in, it’s also important to keep a backup of your data in case of the unthinkable.
Backup software is both easy to use and relatively cheap. For a low investment you gain peace of mind knowing your data is always accessible and available. Make sure good backup processes are also in place and that you understand how to access your backup data.
4. Make Everyone Aware
Hackers are getting more aware and more sophisticated. Phishing scams previously targeted thousands of people using uncomplicated mechanisms. New spear phishing scams target individuals using their own information to tailor the scams.
Keeping your staff informed and trained on what to look for will help keep your network secure. Hackers are looking for the weak links in your security, which is almost always a person opening an email that looks legitimate.
ATB Wealth consists of a range of financial services provided by ATB Financial and certain of its subsidiaries. ATB Investment Management Inc., ATB Securities Inc., and ATB Insurance Advisors Inc. are individually licensed users of the registered trade name ATB Wealth. ATB Securities Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.